Employment Verification Frequently Asked Questions

How and when do I need to create a Salary Key?

In most instances, the employee’s consent to have income verified is attained by the verifier during the application process. However, an additional consent mechanism available through The Work Number is the Salary Key.

To generate a Salary Key, go to www.theworknumber.com/employees or call 800.367.2884. You will be prompted to enter Penn State's employer code, 16442 and your User ID and PIN. Once logged in, you will select the option to create a Salary Key and the system will generate a 6-digit random number. The Salary Key is displayed or voiced to you. It is a single use code, and you must create a new Salary Key for each income verification needed. You may have up to three codes active at one time.

How do I get a User ID and PIN required to obtain a Salary Key?

If logging into the system for the first time, you will use a default User ID and PIN combination. For Penn State employees, the default User ID & PIN is:

ID:    Social Security Number (9 digits, no dashes)
PIN:  Last 4-digits of your Social Security number and your 4-digit birth year, no spaces or dashes (YYYY)

Once an account is established, you can change or personalize your login information. Designated HR administrators or web managers have the ability to reset logins for employees if needed.

Why is Penn State outsourcing verifications of employment?

Handling employment and income verifications in-house requires HR staff dedicated to this activity. In addition to the labor-related cost, it also exposes our organization to liability, as unknowingly providing sensitive employee information to a non-authorized requestor could result in violations of privacy regulations and potentially result in lawsuits. Using The Work Number effectively eliminates the work and the liability associated with providing verifications. It also frees-up our staff to focus on other critical HR functions.

Having data on The Work Number database benefits you as well in that, you can have verifications performed 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, instantly and securely. This facilitates on-the-spot financing decisions, and eliminates the need for you to provide paystubs or other documentation—the verifier gets the information they need directly from the database.

Verifiers pay a fee to obtain employment and income verifications from The Work Number. The practice of paying a fee for employment verification is widely accepted and generally taken from the loan-processing fee that most lending institutions or property managers charge for loan or rental applications. Penn State employees are not charged any additional fees for this service. Verifiers largely prefer this method of obtaining information and are willing to pay for the service, as it dramatically accelerates their processing time and results in operational cost savings for them as well.

Will The Work Number only have my most recent salary information on file, or will they retain a history of my salary?

The work number would have three years of history on employee data.

What information is provided to The Work Number?

Data available to verifiers includes:

  • Employee name
  • Most recent hire date
  • Termination date (if no longer employed)
  • Total time with company
  • Job title
  • Rate of pay

What's a social service verification?

Employees may be eligible for public assistance through a variety of social service agencies. Employees apply for benefits through these organizations, and those agencies verify eligibility based for these income-qualified services. Thousands of agency verifiers nationwide regularly use The Work Number to perform employment and income verifications on their applicants and program participants. Agencies can perform verification at www.theworknumber.com.

Examples of Social Service Programs:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps)
  • Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF)
  • Medicaid
  • Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
  • Subsidized Housing Program
  • Welfare-to-Work Programs

State agencies and agency names may vary. State agencies will receive the following information; name, address, YTD earnings and two past year gross earnings totals, Medical / Dental Insurance Status & Carrier (if provided to The Work Number), last 12 pay period dates, hours worked, and gross wages.

Why does my monthly income not match my YTD total?

This could be because of a genaral salary increase (GSI), promotion or demotion, supplemental pay, bonuses, commission, temporary transfer rates for technical-service employees, or a combination of any of these.

I am a new hire, but do not yet have payroll data in the system?

Data for new employees or “future” hires will not appear until a payroll is run that includes pay they receive. Paperwork must process completely through the system before data appears.

I have two concurrent hourly rates, why is only one showing?

The information provided is only covering your primary assignment with Penn State, multiple assignments are not captured data and if you feel your hourly rate is incorrect you should contact your HR Representative to have this resolved.

Why is my hire date incorrect?

This could be due to:

  • Break in service
  • Part-time to full-time
  • Fixed Term I that expired and the new appointment has not finalized
  • Change in appointment type

What is The Work Number used for?

  • Housing
  • Loans (Mortgage, Vehicle, Personal, etc)
  • Social Services
  • Potential employers

What is The Work Number not used for?

  • Data prior to the past 3 years
  • Background investigations
  • Job descriptions
  • Buyback of retirement
  • Verification of hours
  • Pennsylvania loan forgiveness requests
  • Probability of rehire
  • Performance reviews
  • References